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Intern Queen: Applying out of town

Jenna Johnson

Each week the Intern Queen, Lauren Berger, answers questions from college students about landing an internship. Do you have a question? Shoot her an e-mail at and check back to see if she picked yours.

lauren_berger.jpgDear Lauren,

First of all I have to say that I think your internship experience is amazing; I think it's great you are able to provide resources for internships. I will have all my friends sign up at your web site, it's truly great.

Personally what do you think helps an "out of state" applicant obtain an internship? It appears as if being out of state affects the decision of whether you are contacted for an interview. Am I wrong or is there partial truth to that? And if so, what do you do about it?

Thank you so much for your time and attention, It is greatly appreciated.

Cinthya, Student

Hi Cinthya,

Glad you like the site! If you have an out-of-state address, you need to clearly state in your cover letter that you plan on being in the city where the internship is located for the summer. Be as specific as possible. If you have actual dates that you will be in that city, include those as well. The internship coordinator needs to be 100 percent confident that you will be local so they aren't concerned about you possibly flaking on your commitment for the summer. Do whatever you need to do to reassure them of your commitment.

Good luck!

Hi Lauren --

I am curious if you are also able to help college graduates looking for internships. I understand that most of the interns you work with are students, but I've changed my interests since graduation and am looking for a possible summer internship. I am willing to do unpaid work and relocate.

Please let me know if you would be able to help me or have any advice.

Thank you so much. I look forward to hearing from you.

Kari, Recent Graduate

Hi Kari,

We are seeing more and more recent graduates looking for internships each year. Your obstacle is that many large companies and employers require their interns to get college credit. My advice is to seek out a smaller company or a paid internship so that you can get around these issues.

Keep your eyes open to everything and good luck!


Hi Ms. Berger,

I am a student at UCF in Orlando majoring in television production. I recently applied and was accepted into an internship with HSN (the home shopping network) for this summer.

Unfortunately, I am not able to receive credit for this internship because one portion of my [school] requirements hasn't been met yet and I'm not able to register for any classes until that is resolved (long story). I am devastated, as this internship was very important to me. I would like to know if there are legit internships out there that don't require school credit. I'm not looking for internships that pay, but I just want to get some good experience in preparation for the real world and my resume.

I've been researching on my own, but I haven't been able to find any answers. Any advice?


Victoria, Student at UCF in Orlando, Florida

HI Victoria,

I would go back to UCF and speak to someone in the career center and see if there is anything they can do for you. Sometimes companies will accept transcript recognition or a letter from your career center acknowledging that you are participating in the internship. HSN sounds like a great experience and you should be able to find some way to have the internship and get some type of school recognition. Make sure you give it all you can before giving up. That would be an amazing opportunity for you.

If it doesn't work out, go back to the drawing board and research smaller local companies that might not have formal policies in place. I would also go to the career center and see what you can do to get something recognized so that you don't miss out on these opportunities.

About Lauren Berger
Lauren earned the title "Intern Queen" by completing 15 internships during her four years of college at the University of Central Florida. After graduating in 2006, she decided to turn her experience interning into a career and launched Intern Queen Inc. Lauren travels the country to talk to students, runs an internship listing site, blogs and was just named one of BusinessWeek's Top 25 Entrepreneurs 25 and Under in 2009. Lauren can be reached at

By Jenna Johnson  |  March 26, 2010; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Interns  | Tags: Intern Queen  
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